Sacking

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

Weighing somewhere around 160 kilograms, 57-year-old Lance Pedersen is too fat to work or at least that's what Golden Circle Cannery has decided.

For 14 years Lance worked helping to make cordial at the Golden Circle factory in Brisbane. When he got the job he was about the same size he is now. It was never a physically demanding job and his size wasn't a problem -- then last month they wanted to move him to a different job.

The job required a lot of standing and some lifting and although concerned about his arthritic knees, Lance said he was up for it.

But Golden Circle's Doctor disagreed -- Lance was terminated, medically unfit and he now believes it was all a plan to pick on the fat guy.

And Lance is not alone. With our obesity rates skyrocketing so to is the discrimination -- in workplaces, shopping centres and even amusement parks.

Daryl Moodie was deemed too fat for fun -- at 145 kilograms he wasn't allowed on the rides at Movie World.

Samantha Scafe was too fat to fly at 155 kilograms, told if she didn't buy two seats on Jetstar then she couldn't take off -- even with two tickets there was a problem. She was given seats not together.

Now, with 50% of us overweight and 20% obese, catering for heavy people is a serious problem. "The problem is to cater for very heavy people, it starts to become extremely expensive. That's why most hospitals don't cater for morbidly obese patients", said Endocrinologist and weight loss expert Dr David Carey.

Dr. Carey says already weight can stop people working in many industries like mining and even certain office jobs. "You're going to have to start putting in $1000 office chairs to support the very heavy people", Dr. Carey said.

That said, he believes its wrong overweight people are discriminated against, which is exactly what the National Union of Workers say is happening to Lance. NUW organiser Duncan Pegg said, "The way they've handled it has been absolutely appalling. Its staggering what they've done to Lance".

Lance is resolved to the fact he'll probably never work in the job he loved at Golden Circle again, but he is keen to work -- he has to because he's too fit to get the pension. "I don't envision sitting around moping will do me the world of good, so I'd definitely like to find something", Lance said.